'God Bless America' license plates advance in Alabama

| 3/13/2006

The Alabama House has approved a bill that would allow vehicle owners to include on their license plates the words “God Bless America.”

The House voted 91-1 to send the bill to the Senate for further consideration.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, D-Munford, the bill – HB5 – originally required all Alabama license plates – with the exception of some specialty and motorcycle plates – to display the phrase.

Hurst said he agreed to the amendment making it an option rather than a requirement because of concerns that courts might overturn a law that required people to have the phrase on their vehicle tags.

“I just feel this will boost the morale or citizens and help unify us,” Hurst told The Birmingham News.

The bill is before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The phrase comes from the Irving Berlin song “God Bless America,” which was made famous by singer Kate Smith.